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Topics: Construction, Estimating
The concept of critical chain method is usually not applied to real projects.
Has anyone practically applied critical chain method on an ongoing project??
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Yes, I did. Mainly in projects where we use some Agile development method. What I saw is that the method demands a change on behavior in all involved roles mainly the project manager.
Yes, over many years in several business environments.
Mr. RM-
In my opinion every good Construction Industry PM produces a Critical Chain Path, despite the fact that the P6 schedule may not be loaded properly with resources or float. I have always relied on my own critical chain methodology to supply me with an accurate schedule based upon execution and supply realities (feeding buffers) not anticipated by a scheduler working in an office and unfamiliar with the logistics and geography associated with every Project site.
Bottom line-the reality for the PM is the critical chain...............

This is my opinion from the trenches...

Ramesh -

I have used elements of it on a few client-facing projects when there was the need to protect a key milestone date from normal variation and there was a legacy of padded estimates.

It does require maturity and/or a leap of faith on the part of both team members and senior leadership - the former to provide aggressive estimates and the latter to resist the urge to tamper with buffers.

I have the opportunity to take training and practical experience in the field working with Eliyahu M. Goldratt, the "creator" of Critical Chain. The idea is not new. Is outside there from 1956 applied to manufacturing in the field of Operations Research. Critical Chain applied to project/program/portolio (what Mr Goldratt introduced) demands a chain of mind mainly in project/program/portfolio managers. It is the best method to applied when you use Agile for example. Take a look to "Critical Chain" novel to understand it (by the way, I hate the book because is a novel, I did not read it. But I heard is the way to understand the method). I have applied it several times because the organization where I worked has clients that demanded to use it. That is because I have been trained by Mr Goldratt.

I have implemented Critical Chain successfully in over 40 organisations with project teams of 10 to 5 000 people. Mostly in New Product Development, Software development.

Hi, Ramesh!

I've used elements of that on big projects in the company. When you have a multiple critical chain, keeping track of buffers and understanding finish variance is a great way of monitoring progress.

Thank you!

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